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Personalization in the Travel Industry

Posted on July 6, 2018 by

Consumers have come to expect personalization throughout their online interactions. Finding someone who has yet to engage with companies like Netflix and Amazon is like finding a needle in a haystack. These companies have been using Machine Learning and AI for some time now to understand their customers on a more personal level, and cater to their wants and needs accordingly. “Many brands are setting the bar higher by engaging with customers on a personal level with content and messaging that is personalized, relevant, and more likely to garner engagement,” commented Loni Stark, senior director of strategy and product marketing at Adobe, in an interview with CMO.com

Travel companies have the ability to incorporate this into their strategy seamlessly as they have a plethora of data at their fingertips. It only makes sense for travel companies to hop on the bandwagon that is 'personalization.' Sabre recently reported that 69 to 75 percent of people appreciate travel experience personalization, yet not all brands have started utilizing this strategy effectively. According to the Skift 2018 Digital Transformation Report, 'only 36 percent of travel executives rated their company’s current personalization efforts as a four or five on a scale of one to five.' This is not great news, as there have also been multiple studies conducted to show that Millennials (falling within the age bracket of 25-34) are less impressed with personalization and rather have come to just expect it. We wrote an article about appealing to Millennial travelers last summer, as they have become one of the largest demographics spending money on travel and 'experiences' rather than material things. The article can be found here

Becoming an early adopter will only help a company in the long run, personalization and the utilization of Machine Learning and AI are projected to be the baseline for the future. So where does a travel company begin to lay the foundation for a solid personalization strategy? First off, it is important to look at all the data you already have access to including metadata, user behavior data, CRM data, geolocation data and social media data. Dive into your first-party data, the kind that can be collected from your website, social media and mobile apps. Once this information has been prioritized, start to include third-party data from the outside such as web search behavior. At a recent conference Jeff Marcoux from TTEC remarked, “You’ve got to provide first-and third-party data and mix in additional intelligence from areas, such as machine learning and AI, to find a whole new level of personalization." And who wouldn't want to take their strategy to the next level if it leads to increased conversions and customer satisfaction?

Now Interact has worked with many travel companies to help them personalize their customer's journey using AI and Machine Learning. Interested to learn more? Request at demo today!